How to Travel the World at 18? The Ultimate Guide

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Travelling is food for your soul and the thought of travelling the world has surely crossed everyone’s mind. It can surely be a daunting thought at first and even more so if you are thinking about how to travel the world at 18.

But this will surely open your eyes to an array of unforgettable experiences, lessons that you can never learn from anywhere in the world, you will make new friends, try new things and trust me I could go on and on.

Here is a complete guide that can help you make your dream of travelling the world at 18 accessible and easy.

Let us start exploring.

How to Travel the World at 18?

Can A 18-Year-Old Travel Alone?

Well, the answer to this question is a big YES! you can travel alone when you are 18 years old. Most airlines have decided upon an age limit for unattended travel and the minimum age is 5 and the maximum age is 12.

There are numerous factors that you keep in mind before you decide to travel. You should be well prepared and should have all the necessary documents like identity proofs, passports and visas.

Be very clear in your plan of action and double-check every step of your travel planning to avoid any mishaps but you should also be flexible with a spontaneous change in plan. When you travel alone there can be various external factors that can change your set course of action and you have to sometimes have to just go with the flow.

How to travel the world at age of 18?

Travelling is surely fun but it comes with a lot of responsibilities especially when you have decided to explore the world alone. The most important thing is to be sorted with your travel budget and how will you be managing it throughout your trip.

The best option is to start saving your money in advance and applying for a part-time job or the best way to fund your travels is to make money online while travelling by freelancing. Make sure to be thorough with each expense including lodging, food, tickets and miscellaneous.

The best option can be to have a well-researched itinerary prepared for each place that you are planning to travel. It will be an additional benefit if you can learn about the local language of the place you are planning to visit, it helps you to break the ice with locals. To travel alone you have to be well aware of the laws, news and culture of the destination.

What are the safest places to travel for an 18-year-old?

Safety is of utmost importance when you are embarking on a journey into an unknown land. Many countries in the world are safe for solo travellers. We have discussed some of the most fun, interesting and safe places where you can enjoy to the fullest on a budget.

Most safest places to travel for 18 year olds

New Zealand
New Zealand, South island

This is a land surrounded by stunning landscapes, historical mountains and architectural marvels. New Zealand is one of the safest places to travel in the world There are numerous interesting things to do and fun places to visit. You can hike up to the majestic mountains, admire nature at the Abel Tasman National Park or learn about the Maori culture, the indigenous tribe of New Zealand.

Iceland
Reykjavik, Iceland

Situated amidst nature a perfect blend of fire and ice, Iceland is truly a magical place and is on the bucket list of every traveller. You can explore the majestic volcanoes and lava rocks, historic museums, scenic views, relax in natural springs and breathtaking natural marvels like the Northern lights. The place is an exceptional place to enjoy and meet the exotic marine life and enjoy whale watching.

Portugal
Portugal

It is one of the most vibrant friendly countries where you can let loose in the fun and flamboyant Portugal. The place has a chilled and relaxed vibe and it is a perfect place for solo travellers.

The best time to visit Portugal is in between the months of July to September. You can enjoy surfing on the stunning beaches, canoe in the pristine Furnas lake, play with dolphins, enjoy amidst exotic wildlife at Peneda-Geres National Park and gobble up on delicious food.

France
Young traveller- How to travel the world at 18

For many, the inclusion of France in this list will come as no surprise, as it is the world’s most visited tourist destination. The fascinating and romantic vibes, breathtaking landscapes, delectable cuisines, and, above all, state-of-the-art tourism infrastructure are just a few of the many reasons why France holds a special place in the hearts of many travellers.

Switzerland
Switzerland

This hilly country with lush-green and snow-capped mountains, tucked away between France and Italy in Central Europe, truly evokes the image of being in a paradise.

What more can be said about this breathtakingly beautiful country than that you must visit it at least once in your lifetime?

Experiencing Switzerland’s enchanting beauty comes at a cost, but its hypnotic beauty truly speaks for itself.

What are the Cheapest countries to travel to for 18-year-olds?

Money is the biggest concern for anyone who wants to travel the world. Especially, for young travellers, it is a major concern as they usually don’t have a reliable source of income.

So, you are an 18-year-old who wants to travel the world but is limited on a budget still there are many amazing countries to explore. Now, let’s see what are the best cheapest countries to travel to for 18 year old.

Thailand

Solo travelling in Thailand

Thailand is known as one of the most affordable travel destinations in the world. From accommodation to food to transportation everything is super affordable in Thailand.

It is a country that caters to every kind of person. It doesn’t matter if you are adventurous, nature lover, party animal, culture lover, foodie or beach lover, this country has something for everyone!! It offers the best nightlife in the world, rich history and culture, world-class tropical beaches, lush green landscapes and diverse wildlife to explore.

Bali

bali

Bali is another quite affordable destination for travellers. Like Thailand, everything from accommodation to food to transportation is quite affordable in Bali. With its rich history and culture, lush green forests, tropical beaches and wild nightlife Bali is one of the best destinations for young travellers.

Philippines, Vietnam and Laos

Philippines, Vietnam, Laos

Alongside, Bali and Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam and Laos are other great travel destinations for young budget travellers. All these are southeastern countries with their unique beauty and cultures. So, fortunately, you can visit all these countries on a single trip.

Malaysia

Malaysia

Malaysia is often perceived as an expensive place to visit, particularly by those on a tight budget, but this is not the case. Malaysia is the place to be if you want to enjoy the best tropical weather with your friends.

Malaysia will captivate you with its breathtaking landscapes, pristine beaches, abundant wildlife and biodiversity, vibrant festivals, delectable cuisines, and diverse culture.

There’s so much to do in Malaysia that you’ll find yourself yearning for more. There’s plenty to keep your wanderlust satisfied, from playing with baby elephants at the elephant orphanage sanctuary to dinner along the Singapore River and a fantastic tour of the Batu Caves.

Georgia

Georgia

Georgia, located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, is home to the world’s oldest wineries, stunning landscapes, ancient churches, and the world’s most generous and good-hearted people. The scenic beauty of this country, as well as the hospitality of the local people, will captivate you in every part of it.

Georgia, like Romania, is known for being one of the best countries in Europe for hitchhiking, which adds to your Georgian experience while saving you money on transportation. Not only that, but most hostels charge only $3 per night, and entry fees to tourist attractions are as low as $4 on average.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

This majestic and exotic island country south of India usually flies under the radar of many budget-conscious travellers. Sri Lanka, known as the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean,” is home to one of the world’s largest tea plantations, as well as pristine white sandy beaches, dense national parks with diverse species, and bustling city life.

It’s a lovely place to visit with your friends for a vacation, where you can relax on the beaches and eat seafood in Colombo and Negombo.

❤️ Suggested read: 20 Best Budget-Friendly Countries to Travel with Friends

Points To Remember

1) Be Confident????: There is nothing like experiencing the thrill of venturing into new places, exploring different cultures and meeting new people. You have to be confident in your decision and believe in your dreams. You will find many options that can help you in your journey and you will make a lot of new friends on the journey.

2) Be Flexible: You are required to plan everything about your travel and double-check it just to avoid any unfortunate incidents. Having said that you can never be 100 percent sure of anything, being a bit adaptable to the situations will come in handy.

Many external factors come into play when you are solo on the road like weather conditions, local law situations or some minor health conditions during your travel. In such situations, your local friends will come to your rescue and you will realize that sometimes in life it is magical to let the control go even if it is for a short period.

3) Manage Your Finances????: Travelling on a budget can sound frustrating but is very easy and makes your travel fun. The hidden secret to effective travelling is smart money management.

It is advised to always keep extra money apart from your calculated budget. You can try saving money on travel by opting for local transport instead of choosing to travel by taxis, staying in cheap hostels and by cooking for yourself. One of the best ways to to save money on transport is by hitchhiking and of the countries listed above are friendly towards hitchhikers.

Try and explore places that do not have an admission fee and enjoy local authentic cuisines. All these activities will not only give you innumerable experiences but will also not burn a hole in your pockets.

4) Don’t Overpack: Make sure to pack light and according to the weather conditions of the place that you will be visiting. Avoid stuffing your bag with unnecessary items, you can always buy items at the local markets.

Light luggage will not only help you in avoiding the hassle of managing too many items but you can comfortably carry the luggage on short distances.

5) Get Travel Insurance: Taking risks is one thing but taking calculated and smart risks can change the whole game. Travel insurance helps you in taking smart risks it is necessary if you have decided to travel.

In case of anything happens to you due to any reason you will be glad if you have travel insurance in place. Travelling comes with its surprises and uncertainties and you should never leave your home without travel insurance.

Let’s Talk Money

Travel money

Travelling can fill your soul but for that to happen you need to have a continuous flow of money. If you are planning to travel the world at 18 then make sure to start saving every penny that you get.

You can also try to take part-time jobs and earn an income that can help you come up with a decent amount for funding your travel. Another great option is to apply for online freelance working options, in which case you can work anywhere and at any time.

You can apply for jobs like content creation, photography, graphic designing or anything that matches your skills and expertise. The only things that you will need for freelancing will be your laptop and a good internet connection.

The cost of travelling varies from country to country that you are planning to explore. You can start your expedition from a place that is budget-friendly and fun like Iceland, Italy, France and countries in Eastern Europe. The cost per day in these countries range from somewhere between 13$ to 60$.

Should Parents Allow 18 Years Old To Travel?

When your children decide to travel to another country it can surely come as a shock but you need to have trust and confidence in them. Travelling will be a huge learning experience for them.

You should however very well be a part of their planning and should be in contact with them at least twice every day during their travel. As parents, it is your responsibility to persuade them to accomplish what they desire in every way possible.

Is 18 old enough to travel alone?

The age of 18 is the best age to start exploring the world to gain a whole new perspective on the life across borders and cultures. That said, even though you are of legal age to drive, vote and drink in many countries, you are still very young and immature at this stage to travel alone.

Can an 18 year old travel internationally alone

Yes, being 18 you are an adult and can legally board on international flights alone unattended and are free to travel wherever you want. That said, you are also responsible for your decisions and your own safety.

❤️ Suggested read: Maldives vs Bali vs Bora Bora vs Fiji vs Seychelles: An honest comparison to help you choose!!

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About the author
Chetan Patil
Hello there, wanderlust. I've been traveling around the world with my friend Aditya for the last three years since finally quitting my job, and life has been a thrilling roller coaster ride so far. Traveling is a spiritual experience for me, not just something I do for fun. Traveling has taught me that "the only certain thing about life is uncertainty." So, embrace uncertainty and make the most out of every moment.

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